I am having troubles with my VXA tapes and thought I'd pass on some 
signs, symptoms and a warning.

The warning: Don't powercycle the VXA drive with a tape in it. Ecrix 
confirms that one is *likely* to destroy or lose some header 
information and the tape *may* then be recognized by RS as ERASED. 
There is no way to recover the umpteen gigs of info that are already 
on the tape at this point. Let me hear you all say redundant backups 
three times real fast right now!

The trouble: Lost communications between the computer and the VXA 
drive. Backup will stall in the middle for various reasons (client 
dropped off the network, 519 errors, slow response...). RS will still 
be trying to run the backup and I've been able to stop the backup. 
Upon starting any backup to the tape at this point, the VXA drive is 
unrecognized (no SCSI drive recognition while RS scans the bus). I 
then restarted the computer, and powercycled the drive (tape still in 
it, as it wouldn't eject using the front panel). Tape is now 
unrecognized by RS and is listed as "erased" when it is inserted. 
Neither RS nor ECRIX have any solution (they reviewed the RS log 
files and their own log files from the drive), although ECRIX said 
they thought RS was working on communications problems with the 
drive, this was not confirmed by RS support.

Haven't solved the communications problem yet, but if anyone has 
suggestions, I'm looking for answers. Suspects are SCSI cables (easy 
to check, just haven't traded them out yet).

System: beige G3, MacOS 9.0.4, RS 4.3, external VXA on built-in SCSI 
bus with a CD-R following it on the same bus (cables are all short).
Bob Durst
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